Museums and art galleries throughout Miami and Fort Lauderdale are not only a great way to learn about the history and culture of a particular area, but it's also the perfect opportunity to see the thought-provoking work of established and emerging artists. Now, there's no need to wait for Art Basel Miami Beach or Miami Art Week to roll around, to check out Miami's vibrant art scene. Here, we've rounded up the five fab museum exhibits you shouldn't miss.
Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU
Fashion and style is the focus of "Hot Couture: Florida Jews on the Fashion Scene," (Dec. 1, 2016-Nov. 5), which explores how generations of Jews that settled in Florida shaped the state's fashion industry. The exhibit takes a closer look at more than 100 years of history from design, manufacturing, inspiration, tradition and craftsmanship. From bikinis and golf shirts to wearable art and belts made out of local snakeskin, "Hot Couture" will get you ready for retail therapy in Miami Beach. 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305.672.5044
Coral Gables Museum
Housed in five rooms that were once the Coral Gables Police and Fire Station jail is where you will find “Creating the Dream: George Merrick and His Vision for Coral Gables.” This ongoing exhibition about the Gables’ founder and developer George Merrick traces how a 13-year-old farmer’s son became the master planner and developer of the "City Beautiful." This inspiring American story is perfect for history buffs and design enthusiasts. 285 Aragon Ave., 305.603.8067
Museum of Discovery and Science
Explore the mysteries of Egypt, its culture and its people in "Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science" (Feb. 4-April 30) at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale. The trek northward is worth the trip to catch a glimpse of "Annie," a 2,300-year-old mummy, on loan from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. "One of the things I love you can see [is] she's wearing little thong sandals ... flip-flops, just like anyone would wear now," said Mimi Leveque, conservator of objects at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.
Other cool highlights include animal mummies, an interactive field site area, a colorful replica of a life-size kneeling camel that visitors can climb into for a photo-op, art and artifacts dating back to 200 B.C. 401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale, 954.467.6637
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami presents "Faces of Freedom" (Feb. 7-March 5) by Haitian-born master painter Jean-Claude Legagneur. Curated by Jorge Luis Gutierrez, the exhibition features more than 60 works of art, including paintings, drawings, videos and objects, on the theme of freedom. Legagneur’s oversized portraiture work has been described as "bringing out the emotion, flaw and beauty" and capturing the best of human expression.
Pérez Art Museum Miami
You don't have to visit Little Havana's Domino Park to enjoy this favorite pastime. Cool off indoors at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and see the renditions of 19 international artists as they pay homage to these small rectangular tiles marked with a number of circular dots in an upcoming traveling exhibition, "Spots, Dips, Pips, Tiles: An Exhibition About Dominoes" (June 30-Oct. 29) organized by the Hunter East Harlem Gallery in New York. Many people—especially the locals—would be surprised to learn that dominoes originated in China and not Cuba or some other Latin American country. Besides art, the show will feature a variety of media, installations and video. 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305.375.3000